Naturalization (or naturalisation) is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen in a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country. It may be done by a statute, without any effort on the part of the individual, or it may involve an application and approval by legal authorities.
Congress passed the first "uniform Rule of Naturalization" under the new Constitution in March 1790. It allowed "any alien, being a free white person" and "of good character" who had resided in the United States for two years to become a "citizen of the United States" by taking an oath in court "to support the constitution of the United States."
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